Warning as NI diabetes figures soar

Published Sunday, 03 November 2013
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The number of people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland has soared by a third in five years to more than 80,000.

Warning as NI diabetes figures soar
Mr Templeton, who has Type 2 diabetes, checks his blood sugars. (© UTV)

The increase in diagnoses means 4% of the population now has a form of the condition.

Arthur Templeton has been living with Type 2 diabetes for several years now.

He explained: "The main problem was that for a period of time before I was diagnosed my blood sugars were very high and I have diabetic neuropathy so I have no feeling from my knees down and I have to be careful with my feet."

If not managed correctly, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to more serious health conditions, such as blindness, lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

New research has found there has been a 33% increase of people living with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes in Northern Ireland. The vast majority of them - nine out of ten - have Type 2, a condition that has been linked to risk factors such as obesity.

But the study also found that there are currently 1,000 children and young people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and its cause remains largely unknown.

The Northern Ireland director of the Diabetes UK charity, which is behind the report, says it presents a "stark warning" to the health service.

Iain Foster said: "It puts immense pressure on the health service, as well as the human suffering and the reduction in life expectancy.

He added: "We spend £1m a day in Northern Ireland on diabetes and the majority of that is spent on preventable complications, so as well as reducing the human impact of diabetes we need to reduce the financial cost to the health service because we cannot continue how we are going.

"We will bankrupt the health service if we don't change how we will deal with diabetes."

© UTV News
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7 Comments
Simon in Ards wrote (317 days ago):
It's important to recognise the increase in people with all kinds of diabetes, but as someone who was a young person (16) when diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I'm still Type 1, 23 years later, there is no cure, today's 1000 children and young people with Type 1 with diabetes, and much as I understand the charity wanting to emphasise the impact on young people, it's important to point out the work they are doing to develop a vaccine that may mean no other child will develop the condition. Type 2 is a different animal, but the complications from poor control and the lack of ability for the body to regulate glucose in the blood makes it allied with Type 1 diabetes.
Sam in Lisburn wrote (317 days ago):
If anyone in your family has diabetes and you are worried about yourself please set your mind at ease by visiting your GP early diagnosis means less damage to your body also visit diabetes uk on the Internet
Honest in Belfast wrote (317 days ago):
@roy, your post shows your ignorance. Triple winning Olympic Champions can get diabetis so it is not as simple as that. In fact you might have it and not be aware.
Liz in wrote (317 days ago):
What are the symtons .it might be worse than it is if people knew symtons
roy in Belfast wrote (317 days ago):
No Terry suggest people eat less and get some exercise
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